Friday, November 5, 2010

Stumbling Toward Faith

"Stumbling Toward Faith" by Renee Altson

I stumbled upon this book and I don't really know what I think of it. It is a short book that I read in one night. The author was severely abused when she was young by her father (done in the name of God) after her mother abandoned them. The book is about her journey back toward faith. I appreciate the honesty in this book and Renee's freedom to question the God who created her. I don't agree with everything she believes but she does have some profound things to say. I am also in awe of a God who can bring light to so much evil. "All that they offered me, the love and kindness and friendship, was only the beginning of my becoming whole. It was only a birth to my healing, not the completion of it. If I had gone with them, I would never have really found myself, never really found the wounded broken part of me. I would have simply used someone else to cover who I had been. I would have let them recreate me into who I had always wanted to believe I was rather than do the hard work of changing who I had always been. I would never have truly healed." How easy it is for us to be what others want us to be and how hard to change, to the core, who we are. To truly heal from yucky things we have to go back there, it isn't fun, it isn't pretty, but it is the only way to truly heal. "God doesn't always provide when we think he should, and sometimes, his provision looks nothing like what we expect it to. God may not give more than we can handle, but it doesn't mean that we don't hurt under the weight of what he has already given us. God might provide a way of escape, but it might begin past the path of grief or sorrow or betrayal." Wow, I love the honesty in that quote. So many people just give pat answers when others are hurting and forget the hurt the person is feeling. "Can I trust a God who lets me live with an "I don't know' and expects that it is enough?" "My healing has only begun to happen when I have been honest with the pain that I have lived. Rather than simply putting it behind me, I am finding that I have to befriend it. Rather than choosing to forget what happened, I am finding that I must choose to remember." So powerful, so very true, it takes my breath away. When we choose to forget it just manifests itself in other areas of our life. To truly heal we have to confront that pain and see how it has changed us, made us who we are today, good and bad. "I am where I am, and God is bigger than me. God is bigger than any person, than any definition from any person. Bigger than any person's cruelty or kindness. I am learning to reach more toward God with every breath, and in that reaching, and perhaps even through that reaching, I become more able to believe."

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